3 former Cardinals we'll miss this season and 2 we'll bid good riddance to

Several players have left the St. Louis Cardinals via the trade deadline or offseason moves. Some of them will be sorely missed, but others' departures won't faze many fans.

San Diego Padres v St Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres v St Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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We'll miss you!: Jordan Hicks

The owner of the most fiery fastball ever to torch a catcher's mitt, Jordan Hicks nevertheless had puzzlingly pedestrian strikeout rates throughout most of his tenure in St. Louis at 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He hit a career high in that mark with the Cardinals in 2023 at 12.7 per nine innings before being dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league pitchers Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse.

Hicks' strikeout numbers ticked down with Toronto, but so did his ERA, dipping over a full run from 3.67 to 2.63 after the trade. A free agent after 2023, Hicks was picked up by the San Francisco Giants, who plan to let him do what he's always wanted to do: pitch in the rotation.

The Cardinals' rotation, while improved from last season, still fails to strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but with the Cardinals' focus on receiving innings from their starters, Hicks wouldn't have been a likely candidate to start. But the Cardinals will miss his production out of the bullpen. Hicks started 2023 horribly, with a 7.62 ERA in his first 13 innings and an opposing batting average of .309, but he soon turned it around, achieving a 1.88 ERA in his remaining 28.2 innings with St. Louis before the trade.

The Cardinals appear to have done well in replacing Hicks with Keynan Middleton and Andrew Kittredge, but the 27-year-old Hicks would have likely had more upside than those two. His professed desire to start might have hastened his exit from St. Louis, but if Hicks were amenable to a bullpen role with the Cardinals, he might have been able to build on his ultimately solid 2023.